Coming Together

With all these internal musings that I am posting lately, I guess it’s about time to post a wee bit about where I am and what shape life is taking for me at the moment…

I am now living and studying in Auckland, the biggest city in New Zealand. The Auckland area in the North Island of New Zealand is home to 1.3 million-odd people. The population of New Zealand is around 4 million, and only 800,000 live in the South Island, the island I grew up on. So committing to live in a city like this for at least this year is quite a big step.

I am studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Theology (biblical theology) this year at Laidlaw College. I have always been interested in studying at some kind of bible college, with the aim of getting a deeper understanding of this faith/worldview/story that I choose to believe in. We all believe in some kind of story, and we all have faith in some sort of view of the world. Whether that’s the generally undefined status quo of our generation/culture/time in history, or whether it’s something that is in someway seeking to separate itself from the status quo. For me, the story of the Bible, for all its mystery, makes a lot of sense so far. So that’s why I’m here. To see if it continues to make sense even under strong academic scrutiny…

The fact that a long time (long suffering) friend and now girlfriend Haidee is also here, is a rather lovely bonus. Poor girl…kudos to her for putting up with my re-entry lamentations. Haidee has also spent the last almost five years overseas mostly in Japan but also in central Asia, only getting back to New Zealand at the end of December last year. Being the well adjusted and stable being that she is, she is just swinging back into life in New Zealand…
I am living on campus, which means back to the good-old halls of residence. There is a large range of ages represented on campus however, so I am not feeling too out of place. It’s hard work though. Most of my last few blog posts have been, in a large part, influenced by the shock of being thrust into a living situation where I am surrounded 24/7 by people. Meeting people. Talking with people…

Fellow halls of resisdence resident - addicted to Bundaberg Ginger Beer (Liadlaw College, Auckland, New Zealand)

Laidlaw student addicted to Ginger Beer and Timtams…not the best recipe for good health
So…a quick update on the action so far.

I flew from Christchurch to Wellington and drove with Haidee up to Auckland in a free rental relocation. If you’re ever in New Zealand, then look into rental relocations (,119,299,0,html). All you pay is the fuel and insurance. And you get the car for about three days (in the case of us driving from Wellington to Auckland). That saves you up to NZ$50 a day (which is about half a Euro at the current exchange rate).

It was a valuable time to catch up with Haidee and see some of the sights of the North Island including the Huka Falls…

With Haidee near Huka Falls, Taupo, New Zealand

In Auckland I have been quite busy with getting my head around the various changes to lifestyle, but we’ve managed to get out and about to explore the surrounding environs a little, including a great day out to Tiritiri Matangi Island ( This is a New Zealand native bird sanctuary in Auckland harbour, and is truely phenomenal. Takahe, pukeko, kokako…the island is alive with beautiful New Zealand native birdsong. To spend a night there and hear the morning chorus would be amazing. Along with new friends Pamela and Mutsumi, we had a great day.

On the way to Tiritiri Matangi Island, Auckland Harbour, New Zealand Tiritiri Matangi Island, Auckland Harbour, New Zealand

Tiritiri Matangi Island, Auckland Harbour, New Zealand

A New Zealand Bellbird on Tiritiri Matangi Island, Auckland Harbour, New Zealand

On the same weekend, along with another ten or so fellow students, we went canyoning. With some massive 8m or so jumps, it was an exhilarating day out. Too bad I didn’t have a waterproof enclosure for my camera…

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4 thoughts on “Coming Together

  • Mike

    Hi Rob,

    I have only just stumbled across your blog and website – enjoyed your haiku style poetry!

    Having returned to NZ a few years ago from an unconventional time overseas I know how difficult it is to come (and still be) back.

    Dude it's not easy, and takes some time adjusting to: boring english, the conservative culture, unstimulating day to day life. Every day a semi-repeat of the last, and you're not special.

    Just make sure you don't study/work in what people say you should be doing rather than what you really want, and think to where it will take you. Really important, or you'll end up in an office (as I'm finding out 3 years later).

    The only advice I can offer is to make the most of what NZ has to offer while you are here, rather than focus what it lacks. That's key.

    And when that doesn't do it for you, time to move on. 🙂


  • stephanie C

    Nice to see what you're up to. We are currently a carless family (thanks to an inexperienced driver backing into the trusty caldina) and the extra exercise has been doing wonders for my mental health! There's a chance we might end up coming up to Auck to buy a car, you'll probably be in Chch I'm guessing by your Facebook stuff. I like to stretch boundaries in my own little way but a pile of 30 library books in the back pannier was too much for my coordination the other day, and the bike ended up on it's side, just showed how good our home-made set up was that joel didn't touch the ground! i wonder if anyone has carried a child on a recumbent, I guess the web would tell!